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England to host Republic of Ireland in November friendly


England will take on the Republic of Ireland in a Wembley friendly next month, filling a gap left by New Zealand’s withdrawal.

The All Whites pulled out of the fixture due to concerns over travel and availability in the coronavirus pandemic, leaving the Football Association searching for a replacement fixture.

Stephen Kenny’s side have now answered the call and will take on the Three Lions on November 12.

That is also the date of the Euro 2020 play-off final, a game that would have seen the Republic take on Northern Ireland had they managed to defeat Slovakia in the semi-finals.

The match will once again take place in front of empty stands in line with current public health advice, but the FA made it clear it was keen to move forward.

“In keeping with current guidelines, this game is scheduled to be played behind closed doors, although the FA has committed to working with the Government to get supporters back in stadiums as soon as possible,” said a statement.

The friendly will act as a warm-up for both teams’ next UEFA Nations League assignments, with England facing Belgium and Iceland in Group A2 and the Republic taking on Wales and Bulgaria in B4.

The fixture has yielded six successive draws dating back to 1990, with a goalless outing at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium in 2015 and a 1-1 scoreline played out at Wembley two years earlier.

Frank Lampard and Shane Long were on target in that match.